24 January 2020
Spreading the “CoolRoofers” movement in Senegal

Written by Million Cool Roofs Challenge finalist Cool Roofs France, who are delivering CoolRoofers Senegal in partnership with Elementerre Sarl and Urbasen.

Read in French here

Our initiative takes place in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar.  The CoolRoofer movement we are promoting in Senegal positions itself as a Senegalese initiative that can significantly contribute climate mitigation and the adaptation of cities to climate change.

In Senegal, and more particularly in Dakar, which is located on the Sudan-Sahel strip, temperatures often exceed 40°C and are only increasing year after year due to global warming.


Roofs in a Dakar district

Roofs in a Dakar district


These high temperatures are harmful to the population in terms of health as well as indoor comfort. Heat has become one of the major causes of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and dehydration, and is a serious health issue for the population.

Temperatures are rising in buildings and many dwellers currently lean towards solving the problem by using air conditioners that generate:

  •  High expenses

  •  Increased electricity consumption

  • Increased consumption of fossil fuels

  • Pollution

Thus, electric ventilation and air conditioning are a luxury that many Senegalese cannot afford, even as the high temperatures make it difficult to live in most buildings.

CoolRoof France has decided to act locally by proposing a sustainable alternative: the rapid application of a thermo-reflective coating, in association with the company Elementerre and the NGO Urbasen, both local actors.


Logo of the CoolRoofers Senegal movement and its partners

Logo of the CoolRoofers Senegal movement and its partners


The movement CoolRoofers Senegal, has been set up to respond to these overheating problems, with the objective of achieving rapid, direct and concrete social/environmental impacts.

CoolRoofers Senegal aims:

  • To train cool roof applicators with competence not only in terms of knowledge of application techniques, but also of the preparations needed before painting and maintenance and monitoring of the work to ensure performance of the coatings is as expected.

  • To initiate a real empowerment of civil society and associations whose will commit to deploying the solution at scale on as many rooftops as possible in order to maximize the positive impacts on the comfort and standard of living of the inhabitants.

  • To promote advocacy and awareness-raising with associations such as the Senegalese Federation of Inhabitants and other civil society organizations, aiming for residents themselves to have a better grasp of these adaptation issues for buildings, districts and cities.

  • To demonstrate through the pilot project that mass application within a particular area contributes to the reduction of the urban heat island effect.


Test sample on a roof in Dakar

Test sample on a roof in Dakar


We will aim to achieve all of this through the transmission of a low-tech solution that does not incur any major additional costs except for regular maintenance and cleaning.

The aim here is to apply a simple and energy-sustainable technology transfer. A pilot has already been carried out in Dakar, on the roof of an inhabitant’s home, with immediate and convincing results.

Our strategy is therefore to demonstrate not only the effectiveness of the cool roofs solution, but also of the “CoolRoofers” movement through its broader engagement of citizens, associations and institutions, so that cool roofs can be adopted and rapidly deployed over a wider area.

We have been surprised at the difference made by the fieldwork carried out by the NGO UrbaSEN with the Senegalese Federation of Inhabitants (FSH). Having these two partners on the ground is a springboard to our work, allowing the solution to be disseminated quickly, while ensuring that the work of facilitating and integrating the CoolRoofers movement is done in a sustainable and long-lasting way.


About the Challenge

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge is a $2 million global competition to rapidly scale up the deployment of highly solar-reflective “cool” roofs in developing countries suffering heat stress and lacking widespread access to cooling services.

The Challenge awarded $100,000 grants to up to ten teams this year to deploy solar reflective coating and/or materials in an eligible country between August 2019 and December 2020. From there, $1 million will be awarded in 2021 to the team that has demonstrated the best sustainable and transferable model for rapid deployment of cool roofs in an eligible country and best meets the judging criteria. Materials should also meet minimum performance standards and be applied to roofs of buildings regularly occupied by people.

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge is a project of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) in collaboration with the Global Cool Cities Alliance, Sustainable Energy for All and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre.

Original Article: https://www.coolroofschallenge.org/news-and-blogs/2020/1/23/spreading-the-coolroofers-movement-in-senegal

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